Yu Darvish is pretty amazing. RA Dickey's debut with the Toronto didn't go quite as planned. Before those evening games, there were a ton of excellent articles posted on prospects, free agency and of course, Jay-Z and Robinson Cano. Everything you need to know about the state of free agency or upcoming prospects can be found right here.
Previously on Beyond the Box Score
2013 Consensus Top 190 Prospects by Chris St. John | Beyond the Box Score
The highly anticipated consensus of the top prospects in baseball has finally been posted! If you aren't familiar with it, Chris compares 12 of the most popular prospect rankings and creates a comprehensive ranking. It's a must read for anyone who loves dynasty leagues.
Lots of Ks and Lots of Runs by Lee Trocinski | Beyond the Box Score
The Astros surprisingly took down the Rangers in the first game of the 2013 season. That's pretty surprising considering what the expectations are for Houston this year but what's the most impressive is that they struck out in 13 of their 35 plate appearances and still won.
"MLB Now" Review: Surprisingly Good by Matt Hunter | Beyond the Box Score
Brian Kenny and Harold Reynolds are hosting a new show on the MLB Network where they tackle different events. As you can imagine, one uses a lot of sabermetric analysis and the other hones in on traditional statistics like RBIs. Surprisingly, it's a very good show. Matt has a very good writeup which encouraged me to catch an episode last night.
Is Free Agency On Its Deathbed? by Mike Mulvenna | Beyond the Box Score
I wrote a reactionary piece to Jonah Keri's article on Grantland where he explained that free agency was "marching towards irrelevance." We'd really like to get your thoughts on what you think of the future of free agency. It seems that if you're going to acquire a young difference maker in their prime, it's going to have to be via trade.
Around the Sabersphere
The Evolution of Free Agency by Dave Cameron | FanGraphs Baseball
Dave Cameron puts together an excellent overview of MLB economics and how it is affecting free agency. Contracts are likely going to get shorter. Franchise players aren't going to be acquired through free agency anymore. If you take a look at what the Red Sox did this past offseason, Dave suggests that teams will approach free agency in a similar manner to Boston's, filling some holes with veterans on short term, relatively moderately priced contracts.
Framing the Way You Think About Framing by Jeff Sullivan | FanGraphs Baseball
Jeff Sullivan continues his great research on pitch framing, this time looking at Jonathan Lucroy. As you probably know, Jose Molina is widely regarded as the best pitch framer in major league baseball but Lucroy is exceptional too. They are both above average receivers but they specialize in getting called strikes for different kinds of pitches. Ever since I've read his article on Molina weeks ago, I've been watching catchers in a whole different way.
Molina's defense grows to legend status by David Schoenfield | ESPN SweetSpot
Apparently, I have some serious passion for catchers' defense. David Schoenfield argues that Yadier Molina will go down as the greatest defensive catcher in history.
Marlins get it all wrong with Jose Fernandez by Jeff Moore | The Hardball Times
Marlins fans have gone through a pretty tumultuous offseason. Recently, Miami made the decision to call up one of the top pitching prospects in the majors, Jose Fernandez, without a single pitch above High-A. Miami probably isn't going to win many games when Placido Polanco is the first choice as a cleanup hitter. Jeff Moore convincingly explains that the Marlins are making a seriously ill-advised decision by bring Fernandez up to the majors now.
Around SB Nation
Robinson Cano's agent switch may doom the Yankees by Steven Goldman | SBNation.com
If you were around a TV, phone, radio or computer today, you likely heard that Robinson Cano fired super-agent Scott Boras and hired Jay-Z in his place. Well, it's not really like that. Jay-Z is opening up a sports marketing group, called Roc Nation Sports, which will be partnered with Creative Artists Agency (CAA). The agency group has a long withstanding reputation for getting their clients to sign extensions with their current teams instead of forging into the open market. While some are expecting that this increases Cano's chance of staying in New York, Steven argues that therein lies a serious risk.
The Golden Age of Players Staying Put by Mike Bates | SBNation.com
Pay a little more now, let Albert Pujols' planter fasciitis be someone else's problem. That's the description that Mike has put together for his article. There really is no better way to summarize.
Free agency ain't dead, it's just boring by Rob Neyer | Baseball Nation
Rob believes that free agency is still going to be very relevant. Players are going to be signing expensive, long term deals with another team. The MLB free agency, like many things, is cyclical. The trend, for now, is reupping young, promising players to extensions before they hit free agency, which is making the market boring and relatively uneventful. This doesn't mean that free agency is dead.
Outside the Sabersphere
2013 NHL trade deadline by Katie Bakes | Grantland
Today is the NHL trade deadline. Jaromir Jagr was just traded to Boston where he'll be playing with Milan Lucic, who he posed with for a picture in 1999 when Lucic was only about 10 years old. Ryane Clowe was thankfully not traded to the Flyers. Jay Bouwmeester was traded to St. Louis, who already have an incredible defense. And there's still another day of trades coming. The MLB trade deadline is notoriously suspenseful but I've been enjoying the NHL's more the past couple years. (Probably because the Phillies foolishly traded for Hunter Pence and then traded him away the next year.)